SPUD has been in Vancouver since 1998. It was taken over in 2010 by Peter Van Stolk, who previously owned Jones Soda. At that time, the focus of SPUD was much more narrow – in recent years the company has expanded quite a bit to be a full online grocery store and delivery service, with their first brick and mortar, Be Fresh, now open in Kitsilano. “We have it all now and can deliver it to your door for free,” Jordan Birch, operations manager at SPUD tells us enthusiastically. “We service all of Vancouver, from Hope to Pemberton from this location. We have been at this location for 2006, and we just renewed our lease for another 3 years.” Sustainability is rooted in SPUD’s name, and Jordan tells us the company works closely with smaller farmers who don’t necessarily have the capability to send their products to multiple grocery chains. “SPUD is a way that farmers and artisans can get their product into the market,” Jordan explains. “We’re able to make these pickups, after we make our deliveries. On every delivery route, we make stops to pick up product we sell. It’s a great way to help the local businesses grow.” Advocates of shopping local whenever possible, Jordan says it’s great to see other local start-ups thrive in the city. “It’s great to support smaller start-up businesses and watch them grow and become successful – it’s neat to be a part of that. We also partner with Quest, where they will give some of our products to their clients as well.” Ever-conscious of being a green company, SPUD is continuously looking for ways to reduce its waste. In addition to their new shop in Kits, the company also acquired The Juice Box, a fresh juice company. “Anything that becomes damaged, for example a bruised product – we cannot sell, but we can still make fresh pressed organic apple juice — we use these products for the Juice Box,” Jordan explains. Jodan is very passionate about waste reduction, and says he enjoys working for a company that really walks the walk. “Personally, my big passion is to work in a globally and economic project,” Jordan says. “I really hate wasted resources — I do not like it. But being in a business where I can make all this waste reduction happen, and helping to make all this happen… it’s exciting to be a part of that and see it all come to fruition.” SPUD works closely with community organizations such as Union Gospel Mission and A Loving Spoonful, who both play an important role in the area. “We have a coat drive coming up in November – that’s one of the aspects with the way we work,” Jordan says. “The bins that we use for our deliveries, our customers can make donations such as coats etc, using the bins and we will pick them up and then deliver them to the organization we are supporting.” When we ask Jordan what he likes most about the ‘hood, he says he’s seen a great deal of improvement and positive change in the last six years he’s worked here. “It’s such a misunderstood area. There is a lot of beauty in this area. I have also seen change in this neighbourhood — and it’s great to see.” To learn more about SPUD and their services, visit their website, and keep up with their latest through social media via Twitter and Facebook.